Monday, December 28, 2009

Apropos of Nothing

Powdery snow sifting from the clotted branches of stark trees.


After a few days of lots of family am feeling a little bereft, un po' weepy. Yesterday Mischa and spouse left hours earlier than planned to get out ahead of the storm.


Have some time off now and am reading back and forth between some new and exciting books: Urs Fischer:Shovel in a Hole, The Task of the Critic: Terry Eagleton in Dialogue, and Lacan at the Scene by Henry Bond.

Fischer is an artist I got excited about via a recent article in Art Forum. Shovel in a Hole is a big catalogue and a terrific introduction to his work. I see him operating in terms of some of the same constellations of concerns as Robert Gober and Robert Morris. Speaking of Robert Morris...can anyone look at his "I-Box (open view)" and not 1)smile, 2)think?

The Task of the Critic is 300 plus pages of interviews with Terry Eagleton by Matthew Beaumont. It's a wonderful, deep exploration of Eagleton's life and work. Few theorists have meant as much to me as Eagleton, particularly from The Rape of Clarissa on.

The Bond book applies Lacanian theory to the analysis of crime scene photos. The photos are included.


The older I get the shakier my spelling gets. I often, for example, want to add a p to apropos and always wind up turning to the dictionary. Today I opened up the unabridged Webster's that I inherited from my Grandfather. In it I found a copy of his obituary. I need to write a little bit more about him some day.


I held off for a few days the re-reading of my interview with Rebecca Loudon which is in Galatea Resurrects 13. I so enjoyed the doing of that interview that I was a little worried that if I revisited it I would find myself disappointed in it in some way, that I had screwed some aspect up. Nope. It reads even better than I remembered. I loved working with Rebecca and I think we worked together very well. Maybe I'll get lucky and be able to do something with her again sometime. I can only hope so.


Thomas Fink and I are in the process of co-writing some rather idiosyncratic sestinas. We're in the midst of the third one now. The engine that drives a sestina is the constellation of 6 end-words you select. I've become quite fascinated with the process.


Can't resist quoting this bit from the Eagleton interviews (buy and read this book,it's great):

"The phenomenological tradition has been extremely valuable in demystifying a certain private-property model of lived experience--the assumption that I am somehow the private owner of my joys and pains, which I possess rather as I possess a pair of suede shoes or a toothbrush. The later Wittgenstein has great fun in demolishing this Cartesian model, as when he mischievously suggests that there may be a pain in the room somewhere but it's not clear which of us is having it. It's only our deceptive grammar which tricks us into thinking that 'I have a pain' is the same as 'I have a donkey'. I don't have any special or privileged access to my own 'private' experiences, as I might have privileged access to my own bank account. The way I know myself is roughly the way I know you. Phenomenology of this kind--though not of the Husserlian kind--has helped us to understand that our bodies are not things we are 'in', as ink is in a bottle, so much as projects, centres of relation, practical orientations, ways of being bound up with a world."


The profound beauty of holes.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In late Derrida there's the notion that the world (not a world, the world)ends totally when a person or animal dies.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Exhaustion seems to be the word of the day. Or is it isolation? I forget. Hard to maintain focus, in any event. In Derrida, or more accurately an account of Derrida I read while riding my stationary bike, there's this notion of taking a walk and encountering oneself. What would one see, experience, in such an encounter, to find oneself so exteriorised? Would one even recognize the sight of oneself,let alone know the sound of one's own voice?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The wind outside is ferocious. I'm worried about precarious tree limbs and the blizzard which is predicted to come. The weather inside me is ferocious too. I'm off today, in the middle of the work week, in order to use up one last floating holiday before the end of the year, but also to wrestle with EXPOSURES. It is, whether it gets published or not--whether it should be published or not--a real book. It's a thoughtful but provocative work. I've tweaked it a lot. It moves on multiple tracks which are interrelated, almost a congeries of sorts. Sex, thought, identity figure mightily in its matrix.

To properly read EXPOSURES out loud, it is about 50 pages, would take roughly the length of time it takes to make thoroughly improper love (whatever length of time that might be, it could be more quickly or slowly, depending). I've imagined it as a performance project-- to be read at various speeds only in bed (to one as-naked-as-oneself person at a time).

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Limitless limited bodies.


Statues made of noise.